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‘This is Pakistan, not India’; Pakistani court ruled freedom of expression is constitutional right

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A Pakistani court judge has referred to India in a case in which 23 people were arrested by Pakistani police on charges of treason. Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Attar Minallah said the Pakistani government had violated the constitutional rights of protesters, adding that it was not India but Pakistan.

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“Everyone’s constitutional right must be protected. This is Pakistan. But not India, ”Minalla told the court.

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His response came as 23 activists of the Awami Workers’ Party and the Pashtun Tawafus Movement (PTM) were being granted bail.

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Pakistani police have arrested PTM president and human rights activist Mansoor Pashtin on charges of treason for protesting against his arrest. The police had registered a case against them under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.

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However, the Pakistani deputy commissioner told the court that the Pakistani government had dropped all charges against them during the trial.

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Justice Minalla said they did not think a democratic government would undermine freedom of expression. A democratically elected government can never do that. We must not be afraid of criticism. The court will protect the constitutional rights of all, ”Minalla said.

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